As the 2021 Season in League of Legends is about to begin, it's time for the crew of Inven Global to take one last, reminiscent look at the whirlpool of a year that was 2020. And what better way to do it than to give out some end-of-year (though technically start of the year now...) awards?
We're happy to announce the inaugural edition of the Inven Global Awards (IGA). Voted by the crew of Inven Global, the IGA's are awarded to the best teams, players, talent, and stories in competitive League of Legends for 2020, split into 13 categories.
Today, we present you the fifth of those categories: the "Best bot laners of 2020" award, presented to the AD carries that were the most solid, impactful performers in their own region.
Previously on Inven Global Awards
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There are many outstanding players in League of Legends across all roles and all regions. These are the best bot laners across the LCS, LCK, LEC, and LPL.
Best LCS bot laner: Zven
Along with the rest of Cloud9, Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen had an incredible year... until he didn't — and then it was bad. He and Cloud9 went 35-2 for the first three-quarters of the season, having the most dominant run in LCS history in the Spring Split and then going lossless in the first half of the Summer Split. Zven looked incredible across multiple playstyles and showed great synergy with his support Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme and the rest of his team. He played nearly every AD carry as well as fasting Senna and Syndra. Unfortunately, it all came to a head before he was able to make it to Worlds, but his dominance throughout the year and then even into some of Cloud9's slip solidify him as the top ADC for the LCS in 2020.
LCS runner-up: FBI
Victor "FBI" Huang silently snuck into the conversation of best AD carry of the region after a strong Spring Split led into a dominant Summer Split that led into an absolutely soul-crushing performance over legendary ADC, Yiliang "Peter" "Doublelift" Peng. FBI and Golden Guardians were predicted to be a bottom tier team, but they grew steadily over the course of the season and eventually silenced the doubters in their final push in the playoffs.
Best LCK bot laner: Ghost
Jang "Ghost" Yong-jun wasn't supposed to be good. He was the least important piece of the DAMWON puzzle. He didn't have a superstar background, he wasn't a former pop-off player. But then he decided to dominate the LCK and win Worlds anyway.
Of course, he had an incredible roster around him, but Ghost very quietly performed incredibly well and was a solid insurance player for the mid-game in DAMWON's rotations, skirmishes, and all-out battles. He didn't have the highest damage out of all the ADC's in the league, but that's also in part due to DAMWON's playstyle (and incredibly strong solo laners). But Ghost was at the top of the list for KDA throughout 2020, and it's because he was so good at positioning himself in a teamfight to ensure his safety, racking up kills and assists while keeping his deaths low. At the end of the day, Ghost won the LCK, he won Worlds, and now he won the most prestigious award of them all, the Inven Global Awards for best LCK ADC.
LCK runner-up: Ruler
If anyone deserved a spot next to Ghost it was Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk. Ruler's role was incredibly different, as he was the true primary carry of Gen.G, so his damage was much higher and KDA a bit lower. As hard as it sometimes was to carry the game as an ADC in 2020, Ruler often found a way to do so. Ruler is one of the best damage dealers in the game. Throughout the entire Group Stage and Knockout Stage at Worlds, Ruler had the highest DPM and Damage % of every player in attendance. And the same goes for the LCK Summer Split. Ruler is just really good at hitting enemies. He's a known star, and 2020 was no different.
Best LEC bot laner: Rekkles
Much like Ruler, Martin "Rekkles" Larsson has had a long career of known talent and strength, not only domestically, but internationally as well. In his recent years, Rekkles has done a lot of work to fulfill what Fnatic needed from him, even benching himself for part of the season in 2018 to allow the team to have more flexibility. But this year, even after Fnatic established Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek as a hard carry style player, Rekkles stepped up again to truly lead the team. He always knows his limits, he always knows the enemy's limits, and he always hits the go button when he can. Rekkles saved FNC multiple times at Worlds, helping them advance to the Quarterfinals, and almost took down Top Esports before getting eliminated there. Rekkles reminded us, once again, why he is still one of the GOATs when it comes to European talent.
LEC runner-up: Upset
Elias "Upset" Lipp is a historically good AD carry, but he finished tenth in the LEC Summer Split. Despite only winning a third of his games, Upset had the second-highest KDA of all AD carries in the league, and he topped the charts in damage per minute and damage percentage in both Spring and Summer Splits. It was clear Origen was not all on the same page and the org itself was in the middle of other issues, which eventually led to the team's rebranding to Astralis ahead of the 2021 season. Again, though he was on the last-place team, Upset was brilliant as an individual and deserves recognition for his strength amidst the strife.
Best LPL bot laner: JackeyLove
The young AD carry who won 2018 Worlds with Invictus Gaming made it to yet another Worlds Semifinals before falling to Suning Gaming. But despite missing the Finals to another LPL bot laner and despite only playing half of the year, Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo was so strong and crucial for Top Esports he takes the 2020 AD carry MVP for the LPL. JackeyLove came onto the team at the end of the Spring Split after they lost two series in a row just to turn things around and go 6-0 to send them into playoffs as the third seed. They made it to back to back Finals with his guidance and were immediately favorites for Worlds. He had other superstars on his roster, but a weaker support, making his dominance that much more impressive. He may have fallen just short of another Worlds title, but rest assured he's gunning to get another one again this year and years to come.
LPL runner-up: huanfeng
Tang "huanfeng" Huan-Feng is just JackeyLove 2.0 for many reasons. He is an old iG Young player, and JackeyLove's former understudy, and in his rookie year in the LPL he made it to the Worlds Finals, only just falling short of JackeyLove who happened to win the whole thing in his debut year. In his opening year, huanfeng went from 11th in the Spring Split to stomping in summer, finding a spot at Worlds and smurfing on each and every opponent until the Finals against DWG. He is also the subject of one of the most shocking plays in Worlds history, opening up a Jhin ult from the enemy base firing back into the jungle from behind his rivals. He may not have won the whole thing, but keep your eyes on this young AD carry as he continues into his second career year in the LPL.
Next in Inven Global Awards: Best supports of 2020 (Tuesday, Jan. 26)